This tool is used to engage key stakeholders in the very first, early strategic conversations on launching a supercluster. The Supercluster: Launch tool helps clarify expectations and ambitions within your emerging cluster project.
The Supercluster: Launch is a superb tool to create early understanding amongst first-time cluster members. While most people have some understanding of how an innovation cluster work, few, in our experience have the full detailed insights into what is needed to build a successful cluster.
Bring together industry leaders, investors, policymakers, local governments, entrepreneurs, Professors, former CEOs, the local bank, international partners…. And you have anything but alignment. It is absolutely critical to early Supercluster initiatives, to build alignment between many and diverse stakeholders. This is not done in any one single session, but the Supercluster: Launch is designed to create emerging alignment, to be further strengthened in upcoming sessions.
Ask the tough questions
Ambitions, Targets, Roles & Resources, Market Access and Joint Commitments; these five areas are explored in-depth in the tool. In total, the tool provides more than 15 questions to discuss and clarify. Bring the key partners together, invest the time to fully ask, explore and discuss these questions in your early cluster development phase. (Hint: Joint Commitments is where everyone is lacking… ).
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Helped us grasp the early complexities of trying to develop a supercluster.
Emerging Cluster Initiative
Use Case: Local Innovation Cluster
A local supplier network wanted to start a local innovation cluster. Once they got started, their ambitions evolved into creating a major, international Innovation Supercluster. Having no relevant experience with cluster projects, the group acted more like a transactional supplier-customer network, rather than a true collaboration platform.
Using the Supercluster: Launch helped them understand the five areas and really dig into some new and challenging topics.
How would we ensure buy-in from the Board of Directors? Short-term and long-term commitments? A cluster business model? Our shared ambitions? These were just some of the most challenging questions we dove into, and they had a hard time trying to answer together.
This session led them to reevaluate their cluster idea. After several weeks of further discussions, they decided to push ahead, but with lower ambitions (initially), and a very different operating model than first expected. Today the cluster is developing nicely, but building a bottom-up strategy, rather than an overly ambitious high-risk venture that they first imagined.
How to Use it
Print It, Place It on Tables
The Supercluster: Launch is designed to be printed and placed on tables. Small groups would use a single table setup. Larger groups can range from two to 20+ tables. We would recommend from four to eight people per table. Make sure to get a good mix of participants in each group.
Write Directly Onto It
Contrary to most of the tools, we recommend writing, sketching and doodling directly onto the :Launch. This helps create living and active notes from the evolving dialouge. Feel free to add visual elements, use different colors or sketch out advanced illustrations if it helps drive the discussions.
Discuss, Listen, and Solve for Unknowns
Most importantly, make sure to activate and engage everyone in the room. Have the key cluster leaders listen, quiz and ask pointed questions to the various groups they interact with. The purpose here is to create a broad strategic conversation around these five areas and 15 questions. Make sure to listen intently. Once tough challenges and unknown factors come up, invite the table to pitch solutions and ways to work around them.
A typical session can range from 30 minutes (short) to 3 hours (long). Just make sure to present, summarize and clarify next steps.
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